Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

08.29 10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans’ All-Charter School System Has Proven a Failure

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.01 A Lot of American Catholics Have Never Heard of Pope Francis' Most Important New Message [Why?]

08.31 Nature's last refuge: climate change threatens our most fragile ecosystem

08.31 Citi report: slowing global warming would save tens of trillions of dollars

08.31 Young Hands in Mexico Feed Growing U.S. Demand for Heroin

08.31 Why a Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

08.31 Why a Mediterranean diet is good for your brain

08.31 Eni discovers largest known gas field in Mediterranean [will encourage replacing coal power plants faster]

08.30 When his father had Alzheimer’s, Jonathan Kozol learned how bleak gerontological care can be: “Good god, what happens to people who don’t have the advantages we had?”

08.30 Case proven: ivory trafficking funds terrorism

08.30 5 Ways That Black Women Suffered Due To Katrina

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.01 Bernie Sanders’s Surge in Iowa from Attractiveness of His Ideas: Poll [3:42 video]

09.01 The West Point Professor Who Contemplated a Coup

09.01 Republicans are digging themselves a hole over immigration

09.01 Paranoid history of the GOP: How conspiracy theories poisoned the Republican Party

09.01 Walmart Decides to Drop Sale of AR-15 Assault Rifles [sanity happens!]

09.01 Sen. Warren's Criticism Of Joe Biden Complicates Vice President's 2016 Plans

08.31 Two-thirds of Iowa Republicans want a president from outside of government

08.31 “We’re now back to being at least as polarized as ever”: Why the gun control tipping point hasn’t happened yet

08.30 Jeb Bush declares war on American labor: “People should work longer hours”

08.30 Shock poll shows Bernie Sanders nipping at Hillary Clinton’s heels in Iowa

08.30 Evangelicals love Donald Trump: How a thrice-married New York braggart won them over — and why it’s so scary

08.30 Why Bernie Sanders Will Win This Election—Even If He Doesn’t Win the White House

08.30 Sarah Palin showers Donald Trump with adoration in 'interview of the year' [video, have some more Jim Jones' Kool-Aid]

08.29 Donald Trump and the shadow of Europe’s far-right

Justice Matters

09.01 Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities

08.29 Phone hacking: CPS may bring corporate charges against Murdoch publisher

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

08.31 Rise of the imperial plutocracy: New research is exposing the stunning domination of global super-elites

08.30 CalPERS’ Private Equity, Exposed: Executive Summary

International

09.01 Dark Germany, Bright Germany: Which Side Will Prevail Under Strain of Refugees? [Atheists more welcome]

09.01 Dark Germany, Bright Germany: Which Side Will Prevail Under Strain of Refugees?

09.01 What the Arrest of Two Journalists Tells Us About Turkey—and Vice

09.01 Republicans are digging themselves a hole over immigration

09.01 How Christchurch used the earthquake to return the city to its cycling roots

09.01 Mr. Erdogan’s War Against the Kurds

08.31 Migrant crisis: Merkel warns of EU 'failure' [2:36 video explains every country has a different migrant strategy]

08.31 Inside the Most Expensive Nuclear Bomb Ever Made [that's scarily more plausible to actually use...]

08.30 Canada government suspends scientist for folk song about prime minister [5:47 video]

08.29 Europe [and America] shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism

08.29 Paris prepares to rid its streets of cars for one day

08.29 A manifesto for conscious cities: should streets be sensitive to our mental needs?

08.29 'Nazi gold train': deathbed confession may have revealed location

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Impeachment: Breaking the Dam in Olympia, Washington
Newspaper logo

OUTRAGE:

Impeachment: Breaking the Dam in Olympia, Washington

by DAVE LINDORFF
Even if the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says impeachment is “off the table,” a sizeable hunk of the American public is hungering for a taste of it.
If the state of Washington ends up passing a joint legislative resolution next month calling on the US House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it will because 900 people who crammed into Olympia’s Center for the Performing Arts last Tuesday evening, and countless others across the state, pushed them into it.

The crowd at the arts center had come to attend an event organized by the Citizens Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney, a local ad hoc citizens’ organization in this little burg that had convinced the local city council to make the 1000-seat auditorium available for a hearing on impeachment.

When I and my two co-speakers, CIA veteran Ray McGovern and former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, came out on the stage, we all felt not like political speakers or authors, but like rock stars. The applause was deafening, not just at the start of the program, but after each speaker’s points were made.

It was clear that even if the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says impeachment is “off the table,” a sizeable hunk of the American public is hungering for a taste of it.

Washington is one of a group of states where a serious effort is underway to pass joint legislative resolutions that, thanks to Rules of the House penned by Thomas Jefferson and in effect for nearly length of the Republic, would put impeachment back on the table at the House right under Speaker Pelosi’s nose. The significance of the gathering in Olympia is that a freshman senator from Olympia, Eric Oemig, has introduced a bill in the state senate calling for such a resolution. His bill, S6018, is slated to go to a hearing on March 1, to determine whether it can be considered by the full senate, and impeachment activists are planning to have hundreds—perhaps thousands—of backers on hand to make sure it gains committee approval.

“We don’t hear any of our leaders today talking about impeachment,” Oemig told the crowd. “So the fact that the grass roots have built up the way they have is remarkable!”

Oemig brushed aside what he said was a common argument among colleagues in the legislature that impeachment was not the state’s business, and that it would “interfere” with more pressing state matters. Noting that the war in Iraq—one of the key impeachable crimes because of the lies that were used to justify it—is costing hundreds of billions of dollars, Oemig pointed out how many crucial projects affecting Washington State residents were in jeopardy because of lack of federal funding. He noted too that issues like the president’s violation of civil liberties and his abuses of power directly affect citizens of the state. “I don’t think this is a partisan issue,” he said. “Many of my Republican colleagues have grave concerns about some of the Constitutional violations of this administration.”

In my own address, I focused on some key Bush constitutional violations and crimes which I believe are the best arguments to use in convincing conservatives and Republicans of the importance of impeachment. Among these are Bush’s order for the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on American citizens, his use of so-called “signing statements” to invalidate (so far) 1200 laws or parts of laws passed by the Congress, and his authorization of torture. In the first case, I noted that the president has already been declared, by a federal judge, to have committed a felony by violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In the second case, I explained that Bush is claiming—illegally--that the so-called “War” on Terror makes him a commander in chief unfettered by the Constitution, with not just executive, but also legislative and judicial authority—a claim of dictatorial power that has no basis in the Constitution. Finally, I pointed out that in authorizing and failing to punish torture, the president, by making it less likely that enemy fighters will surrender, has been directly causing death and injury among US troops.

The biggest laugh came when I pointed out that failing to impeach Bush over the signing statements issue would mean that the next president—perhaps Hillary—would be able to cite Bush as a precedent and also ignore Congress. “That,” I said, “should put the fear of god into Republicans.”

McGovern told the crowd that the administration had destroyed the CIA, preferring “faith-based” to real, hard-nosed intelligence. With the angry intensity of a man who has given nearly 30 years of service to the government only to see it trashed by a know-nothing, criminal administration, he suggested that impeachment was the best way to bring the War in Iraq to an end and to prevent the launching of yet another illegal war—this time against Iran.

Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega laid out the case that the Bush administration has in essence been a criminal syndicate defrauding the American public on a scale far worse than Enron. Meanwhile, she said, the Congress, the media and the American public have, like the Queens neighbors of stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, averted their eyes from the crime.
De la Vega, a veteran federal prosecutor, and author of a new book, The U.S. v. Bush, which imagines a grand jury investigation and indictment of the president and vice president on a charge of fraud, laid out the case that the Bush administration has in essence been a criminal syndicate defrauding the American public on a scale far worse than Enron. Meanwhile, she said, the Congress, the media and the American public have, like the Queens neighbors of stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, averted their eyes from the crime.

Questions following the three presentations focused on why the Congress has been so unwilling to act to initiate impeachment, and on what the American people can do.

The answer all the speakers gave in one way or another was to organize—to convince neighbors, co-workers and friends of the need to impeach the president, to lobby a cowardly Congress to act, and, most importantly, to help move Sen. Oemig’s bill forward in the Washington Senate and House.

At present, three states, Washington, Vermont and New Mexico, have bills calling for joint impeachment resolutions (other states, including Rhode Island, New Jersey and California, may also see bills submitted). Under Thomas Jefferson’s Rules of the House, any one of those resolutions, if passed and forwarded to the House of Representatives, could start the process of impeachment.

It seems likely that if Washington passed Oemig’s bill (it currently has eight co-sponsors), or if one of the ones moving through the legislatures of Vermont or New Mexico were to pass, the other states might follow suit. As well, representatives in Congress could feel emboldened to submit their own bills of impeachment.

In other words, the dam will burst, and impeachment will be underway.

In Olympia, as 900 fired-up and fed-up citizens left the hall last Tuesday—signing impeachment petitions on the way out—it was clear that the dam had already burst, at least locally.


Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at dlindorff@yahoo.com. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on February 24, 2007.
 


Public Service Ads: